Thursday, August 28, 2014

State Fair

Took the kids to the Colorado State Fair the other day. There was plenty of fair food, rides, animals and general fun. I learned that my tummy can no longer handle fair food and fair rides!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

This Makes Me Happy

My Pom Pom socks

Field Trip List

I started this list back in June so I had a place to track and reference things we want to do in our local-ish area. We didn't do as many things as I planned this summer (I crossed off the few things we did do), so I'm going to keep the list going. Some of these we've never done (I'm embarrassed to admit), some we've done before but maybe it's been awhile (I've * those). Really want to do a better job of outings this year.
  1. Rocky Mountain National Park
  2. Bent's Old Fort
  3. Paint Mines
  4. Garden of the Gods Visitor Center for Junior Ranger Badge program
  5. Air Force Academy*
  6. Pioneers Museum
  7. Will Rogers Memorial
  8. Rock Ledge Ranch
  9. Glen Eyrie Castle
  10. Air and Space museum
  11. Seven Falls (when/if it reopens)
  12. Space Foundation Discovery Center
  13. Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
  14. History Colorado Center
  15. Cripple Creek and Gold Mine
  16. Butterfly Pavillion
  17. Denver Aquarium*
  18. Four Mile Historic Park
  19. United States Mint
  20. Tiny Town
  21. Elitch Gardens
  22. Cherokee Ranch and Castle
  23. White Fence Farm
  24. Dinosaur Ridge
  25. Triceratops Trail
  26. Serenity Springs Wildlife Center
  27. The Wild Animal Sanctuary
  28. Colorado Wolf Center
  29. Alamosa Train or Royal Gorge Train trip
  30. Cheyenne Mountain State Park
  31. Helen Hunt Falls*
  32. Seven Bridges Trail
  33. The Crags Trail
  34. Sky Sox Game
  35. Dinosaur Resource Center*
  36. Garden of the Gods Trading Post
  37. Miramont Castle
  38. Celestial Seasonings tour
  39. Patsy's Candies tour
  40. Trolley Museum
  41. Bass Pro Shop
  42. Easter Egg Acres
  43. Goat Cheese Making
  44. Li'l Bit Farm
  45. Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave
  46. Buffalo Herd Nature Preserve
  47. Platte River Trolley
  48. Morrison Natural History Museum
  49. The Wildlife Experience
  50. Hammond's Candy Factory
  51. National Center for Atmospheric Research
  52. Ride Bikes around Lake Frisco and take water taxi back
  53. Mt Princeton Hot Springs*
  54. Centennial Village
  55. Benson Sculpture Garden
  56. Chapungu Sculpture Garden
  57. Drive In Movie*
  58. Palmer Park hike*
  59. McAllister House
  60. Garden of the Gods trail ride
  61. Casa Bonita*
  62. Pueblo Aircraft Museum
  63. Peublo Raptor Center
  64. North Pole*
  65. Royal Gorge (after August)
  66. Colorado State Fair
  67. Ghost Town
  68. Fine Arts Center*
  69. Money Museum*
I will keep adding to this list!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Homeschool Moment

Figuring out a new version of a favorite game
(I was going to apologize for any background messes but decided I don't actually care about our messes and see no need to apologize for them!)

DayBook 8.25.14


Outside my window... beautiful day! This morning as I rode bikes with Jack to his tutor, I  could smell the first bit of fall coming.

I am hearing... the kids working on keyboarding.

I am feeling... pretty good. Motivated for this week. Excited for Labor Day weekend and upcoming travels.

I am thinking... about far away friends.
I am thankful for... the mountains. Some days I still have to pinch myself that I see mountains every. single. day.
From the kitchen... made a ham in the crockpot the other day. We had it last night with honey-mustard, broccolini and sage drop biscuits (oh my goodness, those were good!). Going to use the ham the rest of the week in pesto cream pasta and soup.  I made myself peach brown rice pudding for breakfast, but no one else likes it...
I am wearing... jeans that were too long, so I cut them off at the ankle. Loving them right now. A grey striped tee and my Patagonia better sweater jacket.
I am creating... mostly messes wherever I go.
I am going... to make a lot of phone calls today. Lots of things to schedule. Blah.
I am reading... reading Flipped on Kate's Kindle. It's my first ebook. So far, so good (both the book and using the Kindle). Also fully reading The Hormone Cure. I've perused it in the past, but now I'm reading it cover to cover.
I am hoping... the kids get back on an early bedtime routine soon.

Around the house... I rearranged. Again. This time I made more of a sitting area next to our breakfast nook. Really happy with the change.

In the homeschool room... getting back in the groove. Kids are becoming more and more independent with their work, which is really nice for me. Still mostly having fun and testing out some new-to-us management systems this week.

How I'm exercising... in limbo. Doing a little bit of everything and some days a lot of nothing. Gotta figure out my fall routine.
Something that irks me... email. Egads, I get so far behind.
One of my favorite things... warm, soft pudding dishes. I'd do just fine with no teeth! :)

A few plans for the next week: tennis party, state fair, zoo, back-to-school night for homeschool program, massage, Florissant Fossil Beds, and Labor Day weekend!

Here is a picture I am sharing: nada

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Salt Lake City

Trying to catch up on summer doings. In July the kids and I did a quick trip to Salt Lake City with my friend Ashlee and her three kids. Our kids always love to see each other and get along SO WELL. I love it. We always say that they act more like cousins than just friends.
Hiking in Alta
(That's Matt's favorite ski resort. Need to make a winter trip back there)
Wildflowers were so pretty!

Visiting the Salt Lake Temple
(they don't make them like they used to...)
Amazing view!
Timpanagos Cave
I make a really good sloth!
(at Museum of Natural Curiosity)

US Pro Cycling Challenge

Last week the US Pro Cycling Challenge held a stage here in town. We rode to a nearby spot to watch the first few laps, then rode downtown to watch the finish.
Peloton racing by
(they don't look fast in photos, but they were speedy!)
Waiting spot between laps
Cheering the leader

The best part of the afternoon?
Discovering the newly opened French Fry Heaven!

Monday, August 18, 2014

DayBook 8.18.14


Outside my window... is just right! Clear and a lovely temperature. If it gets pretty warm today, we might head down to a park fountain this afternoon.

I am hearing... the dryer running, beans simmering on the stove, and the cat chasing a fly.

I am feeling... pretty excited to get back to a sorta-routine starting today. While do-nothing days usually refresh me, it seems that if I have too many of them (say, 2 months in summer...), then I get absolutely nothing accomplished and feel like a slug. Seems I do best with a loose schedule or travel.

I am thinking... about this blog post. Absolutely using their wording... I've felt some resistance to what-is in my life building up in the last week, and I needed the reminder that right now is a necessary step in my journey. I'm usually pretty good about being present, so I need to get back there. Hoping getting back to my meditation routine helps. I think I'll also do a gratitude journal along with the kids.
I am thankful for... the opportunity to homeschool these kiddos.
From the kitchen... black beans and rice (topped with sprouts, pico de gallo, avocado and sour cream. Yum!) for dinner tonight. I think I'll make a ham this week for sandwiches, pasta and soup. And lots of sweet corn.
I am wearing... grungy clothes. Usually I try to look somewhat decent even in my lounge clothes. This is flat out, bad, SAHM outfit. Shower to happen soon.
I am creating... still working on that darn baby quilt, or rather, NOT working on that baby quilt. I gotta figure out a better way to fit in creative time.
I am going... out to breakfast.
I am reading... just finished up a bunch. See my GoodReads if you really want to know. Currently reading Flora & Ulysses (children's chapter book). Not sure what I'm going to start next.
I am hoping... that I survive the tween years!

Around the house... pretty good. Did I mentioned that I painted our dining-turned-family room in June? Now I'm ready to get serious about finishing things up in there. That means some new furniture, new rug and getting some art on the walls.

In the homeschool room... getting started today! By going out to breakfast then Costco then the library... :) We'll ease into work this week.

How I'm exercising... I don't know if I mentioned that I was even thinking about it, but now I'm un-thinking a half marathon in Sept. Blah. I haven't run since we got back from Michigan last week. Blah. I have played a little tennis. Not much tennis scheduled this week, so I'll get out for runs. I also need new running shoes.
Something that irks me... fruit flies! We've avoided them all summer by keeping the compost in the fridge, but then BAM! we suddenly had zillions of them over the weekend. I've pretty much cleaned them out with my apple cider/funnel trap, but there are still a few stragglers...
One of my favorite things... blueberry picking!

A few plans for the next week: this week is mostly plan-free! We'll go the US Pro Challenge events Thursday plus we have an outing to Ghost Town with our fun homeschool group. Also thinking I'll take the kids to the park at least once and maybe Bass Pro Shop if the weather turns.

Here is a picture I am sharing: Later...

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Homeschool Plan for August

Want to get a lot of reading done this month! I predict a lot of time at the park, reading on a blanket. My favorite. I'm also going to use the next couple weeks to fine tune the kids' daily to-do lists.

  • KhanAcademy - watch multiplication/division videos & work on some problems as review
  • Calculadder - Jack Level 2, Kate Level 6 - drills 4-5x/week and just see how we progress
  • Life of Fred - Matt is going to start with the 2nd reading of Edgewood, then we'll start Farming (I had intended to continue to read this series all summer, but life happens...)
Language Arts 
  • Scribblers online writing class (Kate)
  • Tutoring (Jack)
  • Increasing Fluency (Jack) - one lesson/week
  • First Language Lessons Level 3 - letter writing lessons
  • AlphaBetter drills - 2-3x/week
  • Using Picture Books to Teach Writing With Traits - review intro/authors, then complete lessons in Ch. 1 Inspiring Ideas
  • Reading - Jack should finish current Galaxy Zach #8 book, then start MTH Pirates Past Noon; Kate should finish The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls then start Summer of the Monkeys or The Capture depending on what is available from library on Kindle
  • Gratitude Journal - decorate new journal, review plans for journal (by the end of last year, our gratitude journal sorta became something to be checked off the list - this year I'd like the kids to take a little more time by illustrating or decorating each page)
History/Social Studies/Geography/Biography/Religion/Literature/Art
  • Story of the World Vol I - ch 20-22 plus coordinating books, videos & activities related to Odysseus, Greece, King Midas, etc.
  • The Old Testament - Bible beginnings & the Patriarchs - The Illustrated Jewish Bible for Children p.10-65, What's In the Bible? Vol I-II videos, some library picture books, fun movies, etc. (this seems like a lot, but we've already studied most of these Bible stories, just want to reinforce some of it)
  • EHM's Storybook Artists - Quentin Blake
  • Where the Red Fern Grows (finish this audiobook and do literature guide study)
  • Listen to Rascal audiobook - literature review, EdHelper questions & vocabulary
  • Summer of the Monkeys RA for Jack & Matt - literature review, EdHelper questions & vocabulary
  • Listen to Wind in the Willows audiobook (Kate, maybe a 2nd listen for Jack) - EdHelper questions & vocabulary
  • Listen to The Capture audiobook (Jack)
  • Physics - finish What's Physics All About? book, work through experiments in physics workbook
  • Animals - quick study on raccoons (related to Where the Red Fern Grows)
  • Speech therapy (Jack)
  • Piano - discuss options
  • Keyboarding Without Tears - Level 3 - have no idea how fast we'll progress through this...
  • Cursive Without Tears (Jack) - start where he left off p. 36 - 3-4 pages/week
  • Latin (Kate) - Start Lesson 1 (thinking 1 lesson/week?)
  • Secret Millionaires Club videos (10 lessons in August?)
  • GCF Technology Videos (10 lessons in August?)
  • Field Trips - Florrissant Fossil Beds NM, Ghost Town, USA Pro Challenge, SkySox game, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Bass Pro Shop

2014-15 Homeschool Plan

This is going to be our third full year of homeschool (I still sorta can't believe we are doing this!). It may also be our final year of homeschool, at least for Kate. In our school district, middle school starts in 6th grade, and we (Matt, Kate & sorta me) are fairly certain that Kate will go back for middle school. I'm vacillating on what to do with Jack next year, but we'll decide that path when we get closer.

After a couple years of doing this, I have come to realize that Sept-Oct-Nov are the best months for schooling. We are fresh and motivated. I've also realized that it is nice to ease back in to the school routine in the last couple weeks of August before all the activities start up in September. So this week we are going to start reviewing and getting back into the swing of things. I haven't picked all our programs yet, but here's the overall plan to at least get us going...

Math - mostly more of the same. I have a bunch of other resources/games that we use, but I'm not going to bother listing them all out right now.
  • MathUSee programs. Kate - Delta/Epsilon, Jack Gamma/Delta
  • CalcuLadder
  • KhanAcademy - we've never used this, I think I'll use it as a reinforcement of what we've already done
  • Life of Fred
Language Arts 
  • Scribblers online writing class (Kate)
  • Tutoring (Jack)
  • First Language Lessons Level 4
  • Spelling U See - Jack&Jill/Americana
  • AlphaBetter
  • Using Picture Books to Teach Writing With Traits (I know this is K-2 and easy, but it is just supplemental. Plus I love picture books, as do the kids!)
  • Writing With Ease Level 3 (we are mostly doing this because we didn't finish last year. Also just supplemental)
  • Reading - lots of thoughts, want to come up with my own book report form, want to make a master list for choosing "assigned" reading,  both kids have Kindles now so that make reading easy and mobile!
History/Social Studies/Geography/Biography/Religion/Literature/Art - Usually these are all so intertwined, that I'm sticking them all together. I'm so distractible with these subjects depending on what we are reading, where we are traveling, something we've watched, etc. We'll mostly just see where the path takes us. But here are some ideas for this year...
  • Story of the World Books (freakin' finish vol I already! Just so much fun to dig deeper!)
  • Old Testament using the The Illustrated Jewish Bible for Children (I love this book! Want to finish it in conjunction with above)
  • State Study (we've sorta been studying states as we visit using a variety of resources - maybe sometime I'll list what we've been using)
  • Finish Narnia series - just have The Magician's Nephew and The Last Battle left
  • Listen to the Little House series
  • Mark Twain
  • Shakespeare
  • EHM's Storybook Artists lessons
  • World Religions
  • Usborne Introduction to Art
  • Wright Brothers
  • Carl Sandburg
Science - same as above - very distractible! They have a great science teacher in their homeschool program, so I never feel stressed to get science done. Mostly just for fun. Some ideas for the year...
  • Amazing Science DVD
  • EHM's Planet Earth worksheets
  • Magic School Bus science packets
  • Physics
  • Electricity
  • Weather
  • Human Body
  • Animals
Other  - a lot of this is still being decided and will be determined as we go
  • Speech therapy (Jack)
  • Swim team
  • Knitting DVD
  • Piano
  • Keyboarding Without Tears
  • Cursive Without Tears (Jack)
  • Latin (Kate)
  • Volleyball (Kate)
  • Lego Class (Jack)
  • Fencing? Dance? Trampoline? Horseback riding? Tennis?
  • Travel - thinking Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Mammoth Cave, Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Las Vegas, Zion... and that's just before Christmas!
  • Secret Millionaires Club videos
  • GCF Technology Videos
  • Youth Digital App Design Course?
  • Homeschool enrichment program

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Right Now

Blueberry Rhubarb Crisp with Ice Cream... For dinner!

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